In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 27, 2005 / 16 Iyar 5765

The fallacy of the Fallaci ‘fatwa’

By Kathleen Parker

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Email this article | Let's hear it for outrage to religion.

So goes my prayerful response to news that Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci will be prosecuted on charges of "outrage to religion." Apparently, the outspoken Fallaci, now in her 70s, has offended some disciples of Islam with her book, " The Force of Reason," and, by Allah, they intend to see she pays for it. (Click HERE to purchase the forthcoming English-language edition. Sales help fund JWR.)

At least they didn't shoot her.


You'll recall that last year in Holland, filmmaker Theo van Gogh was fatally shot and stabbed for work deemed unflattering to Islam. A fellow named Mohammed B. confessed to the murder. Recently, two more suspects, both Chechen citizens believed to be linked to a group of Islamic fundamentalists, were arrested in connection with the crime.

Both of these incidents followed another high-profile episode of perceived offense to Islam. In 2002, French author Michel Houellebecq faced trial for calling Islam "the dumbest religion," and for saying the Koran was so badly written it made him "fall to the ground in despair."

The courts acquitted him, but the trend is clear. Criticize Islam and face jail or justice at the hands of a true believer. Is it possible that radical Islam really does hate freedom?

Now, to Durham, N.C., where Wednesday night three crosses were burned in different places around town — in front of an Episcopal church, at a downtown intersection and on a dirt pile near a construction site.

Americans know what burning crosses represent beyond desecration of a religious symbol, and most are disgusted by the act. Most also figure the perps are the sort of folks who, if they bathed, would need a toilet brush and a silo of Lysol.

We might wish the world were rid of these creeps, but alas, life is imperfect. I say "cut and deal," but then I'm a mere mortal.

Meanwhile, let's be abundantly clear: You can still burn a cross in this country (qualifiers to follow), or flush a Bible down the toilet, or insult Isaiah's writing, or burn a burqa in your front yard and live to see the morrow.

So far.

It is, in fact, illegal to burn a cross on someone else's private property without the owner's permission. (It's a misdemeanor in North Carolina.) But otherwise you can burn to your heart's content as long as you're making a general statement and not trying to intimidate anyone specifically, according to a 2003 Supreme Court decision.

We call that freedom of speech in America, though that freedom is under assault here, too, every time someone demands compensation for hurt feelings, or takes too literally an "offensive" cartoon and tries to get the artist fired, or resents criticism of some pet policy and insists on stifling the insult.

Our own laws against hate speech, though perhaps inspired by virtue, are nevertheless first steps toward the sort of tyranny that now threatens to bring down Fallaci.

And for what? Because some thin-skinned fanatics find her words too painful — or too truthful — to bear?

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Fallaci fans know her to be a take-no-prisoners journalist who says what people are thinking but dare not utter aloud. I haven't read the book in question, but I have a copy of her previous book, "The Rage and the Pride," on my desk and it is no valentine to Islam. (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

Nor to others Fallaci finds ethically weak, in her words: "insects who, disguised as ideologists, journalists, writers, actors, commentators, psycho-analysts, priests, warbling crickets, putains a la page, (that is, polished sluts), only say what they are asked to say." Just to give you a taste.

She is equally blunt in her warnings that to the world's jihadists, " the West is a world to conquer and subjugate to Islam."

You may agree or disagree. You may criticize her writing style or impugn a rhetorical approach that may result in few converts. But there's no defensible reason why she shouldn't be permitted her say.

The freedom to express oneself shouldn't need defending in this country, where we permit anti-abortionists to hoist bloody photos of dismembered fetuses and allow skinheads to proclaim, "G-d hates faggots." And, yes, troglodytes to burn crosses in the public square.

We don't have to like them, but to silence them is to invite silence to our own hearths. Better to see and hear hatred in the daylight than to let it fester in the dark. Thus, "outrage to religion" isn't a crime, but is a testament to our faith in freedom.

Let's keep it that way, and long live Oriana Fallaci.

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